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A Dance for Emilia
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A Dance for Emilia

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  251 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Award-winning author Peter S. Beagle presents a deeply personal story of dreams abandoned and recovered, friends loved and lost, and the strength it takes to let go...
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Roc Hardcover
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Book #23 for 2016
PopSugar Challenge Categories:
- A book that's under 150 pages
- A book with a blue cover

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't (view spoiler). Then again, this is Beagle, so it's a mistake to expect or not expect any particular thing. That's one of the things I enjoy about his work.

This really wasn't a calculated tearjerker of a story, but it really got to me. I was sobbing almost
Nov 23, 2013 rated it did not like it

This is a cute, simple little book about two lifelong friends. One of them is an actor, the other is a dancer. The dancer dies and leaves behind his beloved cat and also a girlfriend, Emilia. Emilia comes to visit the actor and the cat. They come to believe the dancer's spirit is in the cat, which speaks to them. And dances, hence the "Dance for Emilia". It's a cute story, but it lacks drama, or the real magic which Peter S. Beagle is known for. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I thought it wa

Delia Turner
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Sweet and sad, with a wonderful first-person narrator who is flawed, selfish, impatient, and beautifully drawn. It's a short little book, and I read it in one sitting in the library. Touching. Meaningful. Sentimental. All the things that Peter S. Beagle does well.

A man with a passion for theater and a man with a passion for dance become friends, though neither sees the success they dreamed of. They stay in touch all their lives, until one day the dancer dies, and the actor finds out things about
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book to read when you are struggling with the impermance of life.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
A beautiful story about how we deal with loss and perhaps what it means to remember someone back to life. I wanted to read this in one sitting but time didn't allow for that so I read it in two and cried just a little both times.
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I read somewhere that Peter S. Beagle wrote A Dance for Emilia after the loss of a close friend, that it deals with such themes as aging, grieving, the impermanence of life, the unknown after death. Perhaps it's good I stumbled on that tidbit, because A Dance for Emilia is quite different from other works of Beagle's I've read. It had a distinctly melancholy tone right from the start, which continued even after Sam's spirit came back in his cat.

Synopsis: A Dance for Emilia is a short story about
Zachary Littrell
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
A little book I borrowed from a friend while in Illinois that can be read in an hour or two, but within its 100 pages Beagle dwells on the toxic and cathartic intersection of coping with a friend's death. Sam, a disenchanted dancer, dies and leaves behind his best friend Jake, his lover Emilia, and his cat Millamant. Beagle, well known for his fantasy fiction, thwarts the expectations you might have for the plot by introducing a magical, albeit brief, event into his friends' grieving process.

Erin Cataldi
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
My best friend April has been hyping up this book for months so I was super glad to finally get around to reading it. She told me she was in hysterics when she got to the end and couldn't stop crying for hours so I was preparing myself for the worst. Tissues ready I launched into Peter S. Beagle's "A Dance for Emilia." I had forgotten how much I liked Beagle's writing style, it's so fluid and sounds beautiful in your head while you're reading, "A Dance for Emilia" was no different. This beautifu ...more
Maggie Gordon
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beagle likes to write about loss. A Dance for Emilia was his attempt to deal with the death of a friend, and it's a fitting memorial for this person and a lovely read for those going through similar situations. Like most of his works, the novella is slow. It starts with Jake finding out that his friend since childhood, Sam, has suddenly died. At the funeral, Jake meets Sam's girlfriend, and the two become platonically close as they remember and tell tales about their friend. However, the power o ...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
May 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I love The Last Unicorn the way you can only love books you read before you learned about the concept of "sentimentality." The way I love Watership Down and E.T. Anyway, this is very good and he gets the character of actors (at least, the ones I've known) just right: vulnerable, sensitive, but compelled to continually put themselves out in front of people again and again.
His ideas about death make me uncomfortable; but could it be about death, real death, if it didn't make you at least a little
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of my favorite books of al time! I did not realize when I first recieved it that it would be so. It's a short read, but crazy awesome! Its a tale of two people who come together over the loss of a dear friend. One is a man who had been the best friend and the other the last love. They become entagled in the memories and form a fast friendship while also sharing the cat that was left behind. Suddenly though the cat becomes possessed by the deceased friend and what ensues will m ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: animals
I'm not a believer in death but still the feelings you have when someone departs into the other realm (the next adventure) can be quite overwhelming for most people. I have experienced it three times.

Nevertheless this story to me is about the love we have for each other and that that love never dies as it always lives on. It's also about letting go (even though you might not want to - you should).

Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Cute little book; only about 87 pages. A little Richard-Bach-esque in that it touches on the philosophical. But unlike Bach, it doesn't try to shove philosophy down your throat while at the same time trying to make it sound vague and mysterious. Rather, Beagle makes it more whimsical, more poetic. Not surprising, as his fantasy novels are very well done and he is known for his bits of lyric scattered here and there in between his prose.
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A perfect little chap book story, touching and sad, beautifully written, and an excellent example of why Peter S. Beagle is just so very, very good at what he does. Open and honest and ghostly, in a vein similar to A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, but with a magic all its own. Makes you laugh and then makes you cry and reminds you about the value and power of friendship.
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
you know, i horde copies of peter beagle's books. especially the ones i haven't read yet. And then once every year, or two years i pull out a tome i haven't met yet, and read it with great satisfaction. This one was short, bittersweet, and totally worth the wait.
Beautiful. Short. Possibly a not-so-straightforward parable? Maybe not. Either way, good stuff. The idea of bringing people back to life with your memories is attractive, even when it's not as literal as this.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Really a short story - read it in about an hour and a half. It's about the death of a close friend and how it affects people. Interesting read and a little hard to describe - touching, yet surprisingly forgettable.
Aug 07, 2014 added it
Shelves: furry_ball
I love Beagle, I really do. But this is not his best writing. Good narration but the dialog feels stilted & fake, at least for me. Too bad.

Am giving it 2.5 stars because I know his other stories are far more superior.
May 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Very touching, slightly sad.
Though just when I was getting into the characters, it ended.
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this very creative and unusual book, though it was a bit short.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story...made me tear up
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
O poveste draguta - scrisa usor, citita rapid - despre prietenie, moarte, o pisica dansatoare si modul de a face fata pierderii unei persoane dragi...
Christalyn Thjorne
A very sweet and touching story. Strange, but sweet.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
So-so story of a dead man's spirit inhabiting the body of a cat.
Louisa R.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the best told tales I have ever read, such depth and imagery. May be a short tale but feels like a full novel of emotions and thoughts when done. Recommend to all!
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-stories
Following the unexpected death of a friend, if you had a second chance how would you say goodbye? Bittersweet tale of closure.
One of the few stories Beagle's written that left me more-or-less cold. I suspect that it has more to do with my point of reference—not having lost a close friend yet— than with his writing, though.
Jan 22, 2016 marked it as cataloged
Shelves: fantasy
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Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of ...more
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